Apple has announced a major update to its 27-inch iMac, essentially making it faster and more capable than before, albeit for a hefty price.
Previously the iMac only had a choice of 6 or 8 core 10th generation Intel processors. Now, you can opt for the 10 core processor variety with Turbo Speeds of up to 5.0GHz. Apple reckons that means up to 65 percent faster CPU performance with up to 40 percent faster 8K ProRes transcode in Final Cut Pro X and up to 25 percent faster build times in Xcode.
Alongside the processor upgrade option, the AMD Radeon Pro 5000 Series GPU is now available for the 27-inch iMac providing gamers and professionals with up to 40 compute units and up to 16GB of GDDR6 memory. Apple again reckons that there's up to 55 percent faster graphics performance from the previous iMac due to this boost with up to 30 percent faster timeline rendering in Final Cut Pro X and up to 45 percent faster performance in Total War: Three Kingdoms.
Other tweaks include double the memory capacity, SSDs standard across the line along with extra storage capacity, an improved Retina 5K display, and a better camera and speakers.
Of course, this all comes at a considerable price given the Apple premium involved. While the base 27-inch iMac starts at £1,799 for a 6 core i5 processor, you should expect to pay around £2,699 for the 10 core i9 processor. That's a big price hike albeit a predictable one for an Apple product.
It's also worth considering that these are the first Macs to be announced by Apple since it also announced its plans to move over to Arm-powered chips soon. While this ties into Apple's plan that it will continue to release Intel Macs through the next two years as it transitions over, there are still cynical questions around just how well this will all work out over the coming years as Arm support becomes the dominant part of Apple's ecosystem. If you're paying this kind of money for an iMac, you want it to be well supported for a long time to come. While that's certainly going to be the case for the next couple of years, things could change after then.
March 26 2021 | 18:30